At the 47th session of the Human Rights Council, ISHR along with the Informal Sector Service Center presented a joint statement in Nepal’s Universal Periodic Review expressing concern about the situation of human rights defenders in the country.
ISHR joined 144 families of victims of police violence and over 360 civil society organisations to endorse this letter sent to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Monday regarding the implementation of the recent Human Rights Council resolution adopted on 19 June 2020. This resolution followed an urgent debate at the Council 'on current racially inspired human rights violations, systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests.'
Though the urgent debate prompted by the African group initially called for the establishment of an actual commission of inquiry on the US and other countries, due to acute diplomatic pressure from the US and its allies, the Council finally decided to instead mandate the High Commissioner with preparing a report on systemic racism, police violence, and government responses to antiracism protests and share regular updates on the issue at Council’s sessions.
Nevertheless, this report and the upcoming updates still present an opportunity to place racially-charged police violence under the Council’s scrutiny on a regular basis. This is why families of victims and civil society called on the High Commissioner to focus the report on the lives of PAD and prepare it in close collaboration with them. 'This requires inclusive outreach to communities of color and the creation of meaningful, safe,and accessible opportunities for consultation' the signatories said.
"The Council has an essential role to play in ensuring accountability for victims and we call on the High Commssioner to recommend a concrete path forward for the Council", said Salma El Hosseiny, ISHR Human Rights Council Programme Manager.
Photo: Commons Wikipedia
Faced with the appropriation of their name, Peruvian NGO Madres en Acción is pushing back, filing a legal action to recover it. In an amicus brief in support of the action, ISHR argues that trademark law is being used to attack defenders and this must stop.
With three more human rights defenders detained arbitrarily in recent days, once again the Human Rights Council was asked to do more to put pressure on Venezuela to allow dissenting voices in the country to be heard. Independent civil society makes a critical contribution to the construction of societies built on the respect of human rights.